WASHINGTON, D.C. - Catholic University men's basketball senior Riley Hayes totaled 23 points and nine rebounds, both game highs, but a late rally by the Cardinals came up short in an 80-69 loss to Stevens in a non-conference contest Saturday at the DuFour Center.
Catholic (1-4) trailed by as many as 12 with 12:13 remaining in the second half before a 14-5 run pulled the Cards within three with 7:05 to play.
Leading 67-64 with 3:51 left, the Ducks (4-0) scored nine consecutive points, including four in the paint, to push their lead back to 12 with 1:23 remaining. Catholic was 0-for-6 from the floor and had two turnovers while Stevens went 3-for-3 from the free throw line.
The Ducks were 17-of-21 from the free throw line in the second half and scored 19 points off turnovers. They also made 11-of-20 attempts from the floor.
Hayes, who is averaging 17.4 points and 11.4 rebounds this season, flirted with his third double double and the 18th of his career. He was 13-of-14 from the free throw line, hitting his first 13-straight attempts. His performance was the best single-game performance by a Cardinal with at least 14 attempts since Jason Banzhaf was 14-for-15 in a 64-59 victory over Scranton at home on Jan. 17, 2009.
Catholic was 24-for-29 from the free throw line as a team, including 14-of-16 in the first half where Hayes was 10-for-10 while scoring 12 points.
The Cardinals trailed 39-31 at halftime despite shooting just 26.9 percent from the floor compared to 60.0 percent for Stevens who also held a 21-6 advantage in points in the paint.
Sophomore Will Mulquin finished with a season-high 17 points, three shy of his career high set in a 69-64 win at at Elizabethtown on Jan. 30, 2019. He scored 12 points in the second half, including nine on three-pointers as he was 3-for-4 from behind the arc.
Catholic has a nine-day layoff for the Thanksgiving holiday before renewing its cross town rivalry with Marymount (Va.) on Monday, Dec. 2. Game time from Converse Family Fieldhouse is at 8 p.m. Hayes totaled 31 points and eight rebounds in a 70-67 loss to the Saints at home a year ago.